Monday, 30 September 2013

Only Connect: Board Gamers' Series 8 preview

It's been a while (and two of us have successfully fled to Canada in the meantime), but tonight sees the long-anticipated return of myself, Jamie Karran and Hywel Carver to television screens across the country as we embark on our latest quizzing journey: Only Connect!

That's right, none of us has been on the box for over two years now, so what better remedy than trying our hand at, er, "TV's toughest quiz show" [citation needed]?

You've all probably forgotten who we are by now, so here's a quick refresher:

Hywel 'housewives' favourite' Carver


Quizzing CV: Who Wants to Be a Millionaire (£20,000), University Challenge (semi-finalist).

"And that's a bad miss": Earned nationwide shame (on Millionaire) for not knowing who Emma Bunton's boyfriend was.

What he brings to the team: Unlike his teammates, Hywel is capable of functioning in normal society, an essential part of convincing (read: tricking) TV producers into letting you onto quiz shows. Furthermore, his parents' foresight in giving him a Welsh name helped the team reach Only Connect's Cardiff studios without arousing too much suspicion.

Michael 'Dr 100%' Wallace

Quizzing CV: Countdown (played 1, lost 1), Pointless (played 2, lost 2), University Challenge (played 2, lost 2).

"And that's a bad miss": Suggested (on University Challenge) that legendary batsman Sachin Tendulkar took 10 wickets in a one day international.

What he brings to the team: With a perfect record when it comes to not winning on quiz shows, Michael is quite clearly 'due a win'.

And their captain... 

Jamie 'doesn't really look like Brian May' Karran 


Quizzing CV: Pointless (scandalized the nation with jizz), The Chase (scandalized 'Frosty Knickers' Anne Hegerty by discussing Japanese tentacle monsters), University Challenge (scandalized Jeremy Paxman by shouting booby and uranus at him).

"And that's a bad miss": Thought (on The Chase) that Paddington Bear came from deepest darkest Africa.

What he brings to the team: With charm, charisma, an inscrutable fashion sense and an Xbox 360 Gamerscore of over 40,000, a better question is what he *doesn't* bring to the team. Oh, apparently he's terrible at lateral thinking. Good hair, though.

Together, we are the Board Gamers, hell bent on raining down quizzing destruction upon whoever dares challenge our dice-wielding might (assuming we can make the perception check to find the door to the studio first, of course). At some point I'll dig out the (very) long list of team names that we suggested but were rejected for being neither clever nor funny, despite at least two of them being puns based on the open source software movement!

Tonight we will be squaring off against the mysterious Globetrotters, about whom little is known so far. Could they be a trio of jet-setters ready to destroy us with their worldly wisdom? Perhaps they're very good at playing basketball and eagerly anticipating a new round made up entirely of putting-things-through-hoops based challenges? Or maybe they're a team of people who quiz together and needed to come up with a slightly tenuous connection for the show? (Not that we'd know anything about that last one, of course.)

The good news is that Only Connect's format means, win or lose, we will be gracing your screens at least one more time after tonight (the first round is a double elimination format: you have to lose twice before you're sent home). That doesn't mean losing is acceptable, however, and we'll be depending on full-throated support from all of our devoted fans to push us to victory (in a TV programme we recorded about 8 months ago). Understood? Good.

So, will our return to the telvisual arena see us come a cropper? Or will I break my duck and register a quiz show victory for the first time? Will the Canadians we've explained the show to understand any of it? And will Kaptain Karran say something inappropriate and/or idiotic? Ok, that last one's a given, but the answers to the other questions, along with all the ones on the show itself, will be answered tonight, BBC4, 8.30pm (3.30pm Eastern).

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